Statement Expressing Opposition to a Federal Tax Increase

August 12, 1984

I have reduced the tax burden on the American people, and I want to reduce it even further. I have no plan to raise taxes, nor will I allow any plan for a tax increase. My opponent has spent his political life supporting more taxes and more spending. For him, raising taxes is a first resort. For me, it is a last resort.

Therefore, I will use the power and authority of the Office of the President to: (1) continue strong economic growth, (2) eliminate wasteful government spending, and (3) reduce the size of government, as the means to reduce the deficit. As I said at my last press conference, after -- and only after -- wasteful government spending has been reduced to its absolute minimum would I consider raising taxes to eliminate any gap between revenues and expenditures. Even then, I would not consider raising the personal income taxes of working Americans.

This election will offer the American people a sharp contrast between my opponent, who promises to raise taxes, and me, who will do everything I can to avoid having to. And if the Congress would give the President of the United States line-item veto authority -- which 43 State Governors now have -- and pass a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget, the deficit could satisfactorily be reduced by reducing wasteful Federal spending instead of raising the taxes of the American people.

My opponent has said that he will reduce the deficit by two-thirds in 4 years. To do this, and fulfill his campaign promises to various interest groups for additional spending, will require that taxes be increased by over $135 billion. My opponent owes the American people an explanation of exactly how and why he would impose this enormous and stifling burden of additional taxes on the American people -- over $1,500 in additional taxes for every American household.